OPEA Attends Boston Awards Ceremony; Learns Ways to Combat Privatization

OPEA was the invited guest at the American Correctional Officers Medal of Honor Award Banquet held September 19th in Boston. The annual event honors Department of Corrections workers who daily put their lives on the line. Board member and parole officer Carrie Croy represented OPEA, together with unit manager and DOC Council Chairman Mike Cagle, as well as Lieutenant Richard Clark. ACO President Vito Dagnello and Correctional Peace Officer Foundation (CPOF) Chairman/National Director Glenn Mueller were the evening’s hosts.
“I thought the trip to Boston for the 2009 Medal of Honor Awards and Fall Conference was very educational and a breath of fresh air from the normal grind,” said Cagle. “The East Coast-West Coast gang training was very informative and the presentation on privatization really hit home. I appreciate OPEA allowing its members to attend such events where useful information can be brought back,” Cagle said.
In addition to the ceremony, a two-day conference included speakers who gave presentations on prison privatization, as well as training on gangs, tasers, and how to deal with on-the-job stress.
Participants said the prison privatization issue was the most serious. Brian Dawe, Executive Director of the American Correctional Officer Network (ACOIN), is an expert on how to combat the privatization problem. He said privatization could ultimately be a disaster for not only the DOC, but also mental health facilities, juvenile prisons as well as other state agencies.
Dawe explained one of the best ways to fight privatization is to get active in ACOIN and on a local level, support OPEA…both of which are fighting to keep private prisons from expanding. He went on to say the United States Embassy has already contracted with Wackenhut to guard US Embassies across the globe, a move that could have major repercussions for all states.
OPEA encourages its members to get active in their association by talking to co-workers about the benefits of membership. Protect your job, your benefits and your livelihood by joining OPEA online today!

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